Biodiversity in the City of Vancouver

Despite the intensive urbanization that characterizes the City of Vancouver, it supports some unique ecological features in its parks, shorelines, and residential neighbourhoods. Stanley Park has some of the last low-elevation old-growth trees in the lower Fraser Valley and the shoreline of English Bay and Burrard Inlet supports a diverse intertidal community including kelp forests.

The objective of this ongoing project is to provide a more scientific foundation for understanding the patterns of remnant natural and semi-natural areas and their biodiversity within the City of Vancouver. We are using a variety of information sources to identify the range of species still found in the city including focal species such as Douglas’ squirrel, coast mole, and cutthroat trout which depend on specific habitats. We are also using vegetation mapping and landscape ecology principles and techniques to analyze spatial patterns of terrestrial and marine ecosystems and their naturalness across the city. Much of this work is undertaken pro bono to address a gap in conservation planning for the city. As well, Vancouver provides a glimpse of what our more urbanized region will look like in the future and the results of surveys and mapping will aid the development of biodiversity conservation in other urbanizing areas of the Georgia Basin.

Location: City of Vancouver, BC
Raincoast Applied Ecology
Raincoast Applied Ecology
May 2009 to present
Examples (more coming soon): City of Vancouver – Focal Species Maps | Mammals of City of Vancouver (2012 draft)